AvX has now finished and we are left in it’s wake. Everything is so very serious and currently quite depressing for the X-Men, but this book brings welcome light refreshment to the arc. Skottie Young is highly acclaimed for his work on the series of Oz adaptations and has been involved with Marvel babies books. Gurihiru are a Japanese duo, Sasaki the penciller and Kawano the colourist, who have been on many projects for Marvel and various character designs for Japanese anime. There is a disclaimer at the title page of this book stating that there is a loose connection between this story and the actual AvX arc, if only that level of honesty was used for many of the irrelevant AvX tie ins. Lets face it there was a lot of filler and loosely linked comics that enabled the AvX banner to be sprawled across many front pages. This book may have a tenuous link and be tailored for a younger audience but it’s story telling ability is as good as most of its adult counterparts.
The story is a one shot tale of baby Cap trying to save his Bucky teddy bear from the evil clutches of baby Cyke. It involves the calling of many X and Avenger babies! The plot is a simple us versus them tale with a cute twist at the end, but its true joy lies in the utilisation of various heroes key elements. Cyclops complaining about having a rubbish battle cry, Daredevil bumping into his allies because he can’t see and Wolverine being unable to understand why Thor’s hammer cannot be lifted are excellent examples of the childish self-deprecation that is just not seen in the main titles. This format allows a different type of humour and story to be played out and Skottie highlights the ludicrous nature of our beloved heroes. The plot is sound, succinct and actually makes as much sense as a lot of AvX! Young has a good grasp of humour that makes you laugh out loud while reading, a very difficult quality to master.
There are many instances of the artwork looking cute, we are drawing babies after all, but the costumes and classic mannerisms of the characters are borne out brilliantly. The attention to detail is excellent especially with Thor flying from his pillar shaped cot, Hawkeye perched on his and Galactus devouring the moon with a baby bottle teat! The combination of comic dialogue and subtle artwork is hilarious and adorable. Gurihiru clearly enjoy drawing this project as there are so many heroes in this book, even if it is a single shot of Forge, Fury and Nightcrawler! My favourite aspect of the pencilling is the depiction of heroes powers and how they revert to basic schoolyard tactics such as pulling hair and firing suction cup arrows! Do not be fooled into thinking this book is based on cuteness and babies because there is so much more to it. The effort put into drawing each character and adding humourous dialogue is immense and cannot be underappreciated. I loved reading this probably more than many of the actual AvX books and it has the unique ability of appealing to adults and.children all the same.
“Thou are not’th gonna end’th nuttin’th” 9.5/10
I went last week to pick one up and my shop was already sold out. Know I should have pre-ordered this one…